A Little at a Time

Letting go isn’t easy as a parent. Our instincts shout “protect and keep safe”. Keep them close, never out of your sight.

It’s easy when they are babies they depend on you for everything and cannot get up and walk away.

As toddlers they start exploring the world gentle steps towards independence but still never really leaving your sight.

I can’t do that with a fifteen year old. I can’t demand that she stays in my sight. Never leaving my eye line. It wouldn’t work and it wouldn’t be fair.

Though being reasonable and logical were the last things on my mind yesterday as I waved my eldest off to camp for eight days. The shocking news from Norway had left me shaking. All those parents who had send their children to camp, only imagining them having a fun and a incredible time are now in shock facing the most devastating loss.

Bad things happen in life and the truth in that had me ready to cancel my daughters trip and keep her home. Keep her safe.

But I couldn’t as I saw the excitement in her face I knew I had to let her go. That I can’t hold on so tight out of fear.

My daughter is a young woman who in a few years will be heading off to university, facing the world with her usual here I am attitude. She is going to have to face bad things and to be honest she already has. But as I waved her off yesterday I was struck by her strength, that determined baby who refused to sleep is now a feisty beautiful young woman who
knows heartbreak and has survived, who knows loss and has faced it.

My heart breaks for the families of the Norwegian children. There lives will never be the same again.

But fear will not win, I will not chain my daughters up scared to let them out of my sight. I will admire their strength and courage as they face the good and the bad of this world.

As a parent I have to trust that I have raised them well and let go.


“Only Thing We Have to Fear Is Fear Itself”: FDR’s First Inaugural Address


2 thoughts on “A Little at a Time

  1. Felipe Neumann

    “Only thing we have to fear is fear itself” – so true!

    I’m an only child and it was very hard for me to make my parents (mostly mom) understand that there are certain things they just can’t help and I need to learn/understand by myself.
    Maybe it will help if you focus on the fact she’ll actually grow stronger if you allow her to stumble and get hurt sometimes.
    Both of you will be grateful for it in the long run, at least that worked for mom and I! lol


  2. Pat Yirrell

    I know how you feel, my daughter went on a school trip to France, then the next year, just as another trip approached we heard of a child being murdered on a school visit in the area where the school had stayed on their French trip. My blood ran cold. We cannot wrap them up in cotton wool, we just have to commit them to God, and trust that he knows best. Leaving our Son at 15 at his first beach mission was hard too, we saw the ‘don’t leave me’ look of terror in his eyes, but of course he had a wonderful time, and gained confidence as well.
    A friend said to me once that God loves our children far more than we do


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